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This wine seems to be just beginning to turn the corner and was excellent in its most recent tasting. For much of its life, it has been a stunning wine, not far off the mark from the prodigious 1982. The color is still a healthy dark garnet with some amber creeping in at the edge. The wine shows a very distinctive nose of asphalt, tobacco, and cigar box, intermixed with some sweet cherries and black currants. In the mouth, it is medium to full-bodied, but the fruit seems to be ever-so-slightly fading. In the finish, the tannins and acidity are beginning to poke through. Nevertheless, this is still underrated and always a sleeper vintage for Pichon-Lalande, but it requires consumption. Anticipated maturity: Now. Last tasted, 9/02.
The famous Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, "Pichon Longueville" as commonly referred to, comes from the same domain as "Pichon Baron." Beyond their geographical proximity, they are distinguished by their strong personality. Pichon Longueville wine has a soft, fleshy, and tender character that can sometimes make it seem to be a more feminine wine.
Straddling the Saint-Julien river, Château Pichon Longueville vineyards cover an area of 89 hectares, originally just 11 in the Saint-Julien appellation. The other parcels, from Pauillac, are quite diverse and grant the wines their unequivocal complexity and character. The vines take advantage of soil that allows them to reveal their full potential. They are planted on hillsides with gravel and clay from the Garonne. Now owned by Champagne house Louis Roederer, Pichon Longueville remains a noble and prestigious Second Growth.